Theater to preem new tuner

The Signature Theater here will mount the U.S. preem of Cameron Mackintosh musical “The Witches of Eastwick” next year as part of a revised sked that will include a delayed move into its new theatrical space.

Signature a.d. Eric Schaeffer will again stage the tuner he helmed in its London debut in 2000, but as a more intimate show. The American musical has since played in Russia, Japan and Australia but had not been picked up in the U.S. John Dempsey penned the book and lyrics, and Dana P. Rowe wrote the score.

“Witches” is slated for June 5-July 15, 2007 at Signature’s new 299-seat facility that the theater is now due to occupy in January, five months behind schedule. Signature had hoped to be settled in the new $12.5 million complex by September, inaugurating the space with Stephen Sondheim’s “Into the Woods.” But construction delays have resulted in a reshuffling of the sked.

“My Fair Lady” will now play in Signature’s current “garage” theater from Sept. 26-Nov. 19, while the rest of the schedule will be compressed into six months beginning next January. “Woods” is slated for Jan. 12-Feb. 25 in the new Max Theater, followed by the world premiere of “Saving Aimee” and “Witches.” Signature had hoped to mount its new twist on “Lady” in the new theater, but its rights to the show expire in January because of a planned national tour.

In addition, Signature’s sked includes two productions in its 100-seat black box Ark Theater — “Crave,” a 1998 play by the late British playwright Sarah Kane, and “Susanna Cox,” by Bathsheba Doran, about a Mennonite woman accused of infanticide in 1809.

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